Why I bought the book: I had no K books in my TBR pile and so I appealed to Tam who pointed me in the direction of this book. This means it's all her fault if I didn't like it ;).
Plot: Seth is recovering from a baffling break up with his boyfriend. He feels completely knocked sideways and as a result has retreated behind a number of different masks that he adopts to face situations in his life. He puts on his 'going out with friends' mask and meets his friend Marty at a bar where he unexpectedly runs into his first boyfriend Kieran. Both men are intrigued by the differences from the last 13 years, from innocent 17 year olds, just coming out the closet, to 30 year old experienced men. They decide to spend the evening together to catch up on old times but a snow storm strands Kieran at Seth's house. The time together allows the men to be reacquainted, but also forces Seth to face up to some painful truths about himself.
This was one of those gentle romances which slowly unfold. It's entirely character based with little action other than sex and a walk in the park, which allows the reader to focus on the way the men interact with each other. I liked the 'chance meet' aspect of the story and that both men experience the slight awkwardness of coming face to face with your past. What worked especially well for me was that this wasn't one of those stories where the men had fallen in love at an early age and then pined away for each other for 13 years. Instead it was an entirely realistic story of young love which was fierce when it happened but both men moved on and had other relationships, only looking back fondly on occasion to a time of innocence when the most risky thing they did was make out on the couch in Kieran's basement. I think many of us can empathise with that time of our lives.
Characters: This story was really all about Seth. We do get Kieran's point of view at times, but it's Seth's journey which is the focus. Part of the fun of the story is seeing Seth come to terms with the break up between him and his ex, but also recognise the part he played in that. This meant that he moved from being a bit self-absorbed and sorry for himself, and grew to be more mature and having learned from his experience. I very much enjoyed taking that journey with Seth. As the focus is on Seth, I felt that Kieran was a little less well defined. He's a nice guy and has some problems of his own, but I never really felt I knew him that well, even by the end of the book. At the end, he starts to think abut making some changes of his own, but to me that seemed a little odd and misplaced because I hadn't been able to grasp what the actual root of his problem was, other than a reference to insomnia and a vague dissatisfaction with his life. As such Kieran's problems seemed a little tagged onto the end.
Overall: The niggle with Kieran wasn't enough to spoil this book too much for me and I enjoyed reading about two men who are relearning about each other. The pace of the book is gentle but I liked that, just as I liked the whole romanticism of their relationship and the tenderness of the sex scenes. The setting of Brooklyn was important too and I liked the descriptions of the area, especially the park covered in snow. Those of you looking for a sweet read that's not too high on sugar will like this book and I recommend it with a grade of 'Very good'.
Buy this book HERE.